One of my former clients is dodging me right now. The l last I heard from him, a few months ago, he had every excuse in the book not to pay me. He’d closed his business checking account when the business failed, so he’d have to pay me from personal funds. Sure, he could use his sister’s PayPal, but he’d have to get the password. He couldn’t meet me to run a credit card through my Square reader because he’d moved when the business failed. Could I maybe take a credit card payment over the phone?
Of course not! That’s impossible. Why would I want to open a merchant account, pay an application fee, monthly fees and even – eventually – a termination fee, all for one client with a slew of excuses?
Except, wait. I totally could have if WePay Virtual Terminal had been around.
The WePay Virtual Terminal is a way for every business owner to take payments over the phone. In just a few minutes time even the least tech savvy customer can give you their credit card number and be on their way.
Why? We sometimes forget not everyone wants to take advantage of new technology. Maybe someone was burned by identity theft from entering information on a website, or perhaps they just prefer the phone. They want to pay you, of course, and you have to collect that payment somehow. Unfortunately, paying over the phone isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do now since many businesses have no way of simply entering a credit card into a payment processor without spending mega bucks on a merchant account.
So how does this Virtual Terminal work? When the customer calls you up, you simply pull the Virtual Terminal up through your WePay account. It works just like a traditional one at any store – you simply punch in the numbers as the customer relays them to you. Once everything goes through, you’re done, and WePay tracks the transaction for you.
It may not seem like it, but the Virtual Terminal is a major innovation. The reason small companies don’t take orders over the phone as much is because of the reasons detailed above – it’s expensive, it’s fairly rare for small businesses to need to accept payments by phone, and there’s been no good, secure way to do it until now. Fortunately, the WePay Virtual Terminal is PCI Level 1 compliant, something that has been difficult for small merchants in the past.
When Would I Use It?
You may not use the Virtual Terminal all the time, but there are some very clear times when you could have made a sale or collected on an invoice (ahem) and missed out. Hopefully having the Virtual Terminal in your payments arsenal will cut these missed opportunities down.
For instance, a friend of mine was at a craft fair recently when a customer came up to her. Apparently last year this customer had seen some handmade upcycled artwork she’d been selling, but she didn’t buy anything. She thought about the item all year and hunted her down at the next craft fair.
However, my friend didn’t have the items on hand since they didn’t sell the year before! The customer needed to use a credit card (great art isn’t cheap!) but wasn’t interested in buying anything through her Etsy store. They essentially had no option but to wait until next year. Essentially my friend lost a sale.
Don’t let this happen to you! For only 4.9% plus $0.30 per payment (no hidden fees, ever) you can be ahead of the curve and let even the least tech-savvy person in the world grab your wares with the WePay Virtual Terminal.
As for my story, my former client no longer answers my emails and his phone suddenly and mysterious “has no voicemail box setup.” I have a feeling that, if I’d said yes to phone payments that some other problem would have arisen, but on the other hand… I guess I’d better go write him one more email.